Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Religious conservatives across the state are divided over a new campaign to repeal legislation extending all the benefits of marriage — except the name — to gay and lesbian couples.

Conservative faith leaders on Monday followed through on an earlier pledge, filing a referendum to overturn Senate Bill 5688, which extends to same-sex couples all the state-given benefits of marriage previously reserved for opposite-sex couples.

Funny, I thought the work of true Christians was to care for the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, etc. I don't remember hate the gays being on the list.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!


Publication of first book, $5,000 cash prize, residency at the Vermont Studio Center

The Academy of American Poets announced today that J. Michael Martinez has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Walt Whitman Award. The Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets, is one of the most prestigious first book prizes in the country, as it publishes a first collection by an American poet who has never before published a book of poetry and distributes the book to thousands of members of the Academy. The Whitman Award also includes a $5,000 cash prize and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

J. Michael Martinez received the Award for his book-length collection of poems, Heredities, which will be published in the spring of 2010 by Louisiana State University Press. The winning manuscript was chosen by the poet Juan Felipe Herrera from nearly 1,000 anonymous entries. In an unprecedented concurrence, the judge of the 2008 Award, Linda Bierds, selected Martinez's manuscript as last year's sole finalist. The two finalists for this year's Award were Keith Ekiss's Pima Road Notebook and Sarah Elaine Smith's I Live in a Hut.

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